Paper Title: Prevalence and sociodemographic factors associated with burnout among postgraduate students in the department of Public Health at the University of Port Harcourt
Authors: Ubah NR, Maduabuchukwu IM, Alikor C, Boniface FN
Introduction: Burnout syndrome is a sustained response to chronic work stress comprising three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment. It may be associated with school stress, work, and other environmental factors. This study sought to determine the prevalence and sociodemographic factors associated with burnout among postgraduate students of the Public Health Department in the University of Port Harcourt in 2019. Methods: This study was a cross-sectional study carried out among postgraduate students of the Public Health programme in the University of Port Harcourt. The study tool was an online questionnaire dispersed via email. The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Scale (MBI-SS) was used to determine the prevalence of burnout and its dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment. The sociodemographic factors (age, sex, and marital status) were also analyzed. All analyses were done at 95% confidence interval with a p value set at 0.05. Results: A total of one hundred and twenty-three postgraduate students responded. Slightly above a quarter (25.2%) experienced burnout. The prevalence of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of personal accomplishment amounted to 25.2%, 36.6% and 34.1% respectively. Only age among the studied sociodemographic factors was statistically significant (P = 0.046). Conclusion: Burnout syndrome affects a significant number of postgraduate students in the Department of Public Health in the University of Port Harcourt especially in the dimension of emotional exhaustion. Early identification of burnout pointers is required for the best management to reduce the morbidity associated with burnout. Prevention is essential and should reflect in policymaking.